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FIFA official casts new doubt over Platini bid

A senior FIFA official called into question Michel Platini’s bid for football’s top job, saying the failure to disclose a multi-million dollar payment could be seen as a “falsification of accounts”.

FIFA reconfirmed they will vote for a new president on February 26, 2016 to replace president Sepp Blatter and the executive committee confirmed Platini’s bid will not be considered as long as he is suspended.

But Platini’s chances have nosedived as neither he nor Blatter can explain an irregular payment of two million Swiss francs ( 2 million, 1.8 million euros) made in 2011 for advisory work the Frenchman did for FIFA from 1998 to 2002.

Domenico Scala, chairman of FIFA’s electoral and audit committees, told the Financial Times that evidence for the consultancy agreement had not appeared in accounts before the payment, calling it a “serious omission” in an interview yesterday.

“Both parties were members of FIFA’s executive committee and knowingly approved each year financial statements, which were incorrect by SFr2m. That could be seen as falsification of the accounts,” he was quoted as saying.

Scala had appeared to leave the door open for Platini earlier Tuesday by saying that should his ban be lifted or expire before the February 26 election, the Electoral Committee “would decide... on how to proceed with the candidacy concerned.”

A source close to the Frenchman told AFP: “We have the feeling that the election committee has not killed Michel Platini.”

FIFA’s independent Ethics Committee indicated it would make an announcement on the cases of senior officials being investigated on Wednesday, without revealing any names.

The UEFA president had been considered the favourite to replace Blatter until his suspension. Alongside Platini, Prince Ali bin al Hussein, who lost to Blatter in May’s election, has officially stated his candidacy.
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